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The Creative CV, Should You Risk It?

27th January 2016

Unconventional CV’s and career pitches are becoming somewhat of a trend in recent years. From that guy standing at a City tube station, with a billboard advertising his job search and copies of his CV to hand, to the most recent effort from university student Connor Peters – who’s uploaded his CV on Twitter.

So is this the way forward for students and new grads? Two of Alfred’s most recent graduates give their somewhat traditional thoughts on the matter:

Caroline 

I’ve got a bit of a mixed feeling about this. Sure, I agree that CVs in this style are definitely eye-catching and can garner a lot of attention. Of course, the more recognition you can get for yourself (especially in this line of work!) the better chance you stand to land your dream job; but perhaps it’s the cynical PR in me that makes me think that this can attract companies for the wrong reasons.

Let me explain – you’re bound to be inundated with job offers once your story gains some traction, but companies may simply be keen to jump on this and be recognised as the ones who gave you a job, taking a chance on you for your creative flair, all the while gaining a little press for themselves… although if the business you’re looking for happens to get in touch with your dream job, then happy days! Of course, this kind of approach certainly can’t hurt your job prospects, but you do risk the chance of turning off prospective employers who have maybe seen one too many ‘creative’ CVs (videos, flip-books… whatever your weapon of choice is) and quite frankly may be weary of them by this point. In my opinion, if you’re right for the job, the traditional written CV should speak volumes!

cv

Megan

First thoughts that come to mind are how much is too much? A Twitter CV is different and inventive but will it pay off? Of the handful of people that actually offer you a paid placement, are they really the roles you want? Are the companies responding just using your creativeness to PR themselves, and is that ok?

This stream of questions pretty much sums up the daunting task of job applications. Personally, I’ve found a good old covering letter and strong CV always does the trick but can’t fault Junior PRs getting creative for their dream jobs! However when it’s just a dig in the dark, QR codes on cupcakes and CVs on billboards for any old job, does it then become seedy? It’s the same when the shoe is on the other foot – in my experience, I’ve found that employers striving to be different and creative has lead to interviews and application questions being intrusive. ‘What has been the most difficult moment in your life?’ is just plain nosey, and ‘write your life as a newspaper headline’ is pretty difficult to answer at just 22.

For those graduating or looking for placements I say don’t sell yourself short, but don’t over do it either. Give yourself credit; it’s a skill to be able to sell yourself in a standard CV and covering letter, you don’t need gimmicks to get attention. You are a PR, a professional communicator, so give ‘em hell with that CV!